Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by ricksengines, Sep 27, 2020.
They do. Most guys that are serious long range shooters are weighing to 0.1 grains.
To all who are enjoying this topic's exchange of information and ideas, I would like to respectfully submit these comments. I believe that there are infinite numbers of different types of skill levels, firearms and equipment that we all use as well as the many uses from plinking to extreme long-range target shooting. I believe Rick's intent is to help folks exchange information and improve the accuracy for most of those needs. My personal interest is precision shot placement to the best capability of my favorite hunting calibers. I believe that my personal ability is far exceeded by those rifles. Hand-loading and fine tuning accomplished that for me. I enjoy long distance efficient game harvesting with minimum meat loss. My personal preference for max performance lead me to use lighter premium bullets for higher velocity and flatter trajectory. Now others will have different opinions and thats great as long as they are getting the results they want. My performance requirements are for close tolerance reloading which borderlines long range precision target shooting. Search the net on precision long range reloading and shooting, you will find that the experts all seem to agree that good performance of a rifle at long distance will increase its accuracy at shorter distances also. Very interesting how case prep, powder charge and velocity effect POI at different distances to the target. I am sure Rick will get to the finer points of these subjects. By the way Rogan, some of the precision long range competitors are weighing powder to a tolerance of less than 1/10 of a grain. Very good Rick, keep it coming. Sakojim.
Rogan. I had a very enjoyable phone talk with Stan this morning. He is a former Oregonian and very knowledgeable on the subject of reloading. As you stated he is a busy fellow and has my order in the works. Thank you for the videos on the Dandy trickler. Can't wait to get it on my bench for use. Sakojim.
I once owned a digital reloading scale. I liked it for its convenience -- it would conveniently fit in almost any wastebasket.
Great to hear mate! Hope that it works well for you and gives you hours of reloading pleasure! I find that the more time I spend at the bench, the better I feel and the more inclined I am to adding small steps that improve my reload and the time spent reloading. I often try to explain it to people that activities like this, watching the dogs play in front of a setting sun from a lovely old rocking chair or stopping to watch and listen for a good stint when your hunting out bush or shaving with a sharp cut-throat razer are important for men. When nothing exists but the task at hand for a short period of time, away from iPhones, ipads, TV, even our own thoughts and just focus on a simple task, it can do wonders for your head and heart. Enjoy my friend!
Rogan. Update. Just received a call from Stan and his wife. Very nice folks to do business with. Order filled and will be shipped tomorrow. Plenty of empty cases to fill and this will give me something to do that will keep me from going bonkers from this virus lock-down. Chin up everyone and be safe. Sakojim.
Continuing the list on Hand Loading Guidelines
Sorry it took so long to get back to this. I had another knee surgery last Friday and underwent two weeks of testing to get clearance for it. Good news is that I can walk pain free for the most part at last. Now for more discussion.....
Primers are available in a variety of types. Back in the day we had large and small rifle, large and small rife magnum and similar types for pistol. Today there are bench rest primers and a pleather of other types of primers. Be sure to use only primers that are specifically designed for use with a specific cartridge. That is never us a magnum primer in a cartridge that is designed for non-magnum primers. To do so can cause a serious overload condition that could result in serious injury or death to the shooter.
Don’t go crazy when developing handloads. When increasing the powder weight a little goes a very long way. Limit increases in powder weight to two tenths of a grain at a time.
When I am working up a load I make about four to five loaded cartridges with the same weight and component configuration. That way if the load isn’t working out I don’t waste a lot of components on a less than accurate load.
I also make a set of handloads using the same components but increase the powder charge by about two tenths of a grain. I usually make about four sets of four to five cartridges each with a slight increase in the weight of the powder. That way I can tell if I’m on the right track with a specific configuration. If accuracy begins to increase I know that I’m on the right track.
I make sure that the barrel is clean before starting to test a load for accuracy. The first shot will always foul out the barrel with subsequent rounds producing results that you can start to believe.
I run a dry patch through the barrel after each shot is fired.
I wait at least three to five minutes between shots (depending on the temperature, longer if necessary). This assures that the barrel isn’t distorting accuracy due to heat.
I like to fire rounds in sets of three. I do this because sets of five shots tend to drift simply because changes in temperature, humidity or other shooter related causes. Three rounds should be sufficient to determine the accuracy of a specific load.
I always wait at least 15 minutes between sets to assure that the rifle and barrel temp have settled down.
I run a dry patch down the tube between sets. This eliminates the need to foul out the barrel between sets.
Good to hear your surgery went well Rick. Excellent advice on hand loading. Some of us like to fine tune to 1/10 of a grain for even better consistency. Keep the good info coming.
Don't over do the physical rehab on the knee and enjoy a complete recovery. Sakojim.
Thanks Jim for the kind words. This knee problem has been brewing for over two years. With this latest surgery it is finally solved.
Wow folks, we really have come a long way with this thread, Stay tuned because there is more info coming from yours truly and the membership at large.
Let's talk scope mounts!
First let me say don't shoot the messenger! For all of my rifles I always use scope mounts that fit the receiver properly and that never mar or distort the surface of the thing.
My favorites for my Sako collection are as follows: for round top receivers my favorite mounts are Redfied one or two piece mounts. For Sako dovetail receivers I tend to use genuine Sako integral mounts and rings as well as Leupold dovetailed rings. Now don't get your bowels in a up roar. These are my preferences simply because the don't screw up the receiver, provide a stable mounting base for a large variety of scope configurations, and are easily removed without screwing up the receiver or dovetails.
As for rings I prefer Sako (obviously) Redfield, Leupold, Millett and maybe one or two others that just don't come to mind right at this moment. Weaver, newfangled rail systems are just junk in my humble opinion and Sako rifles are not the place to use this stuff. Maybe I am a purest but that is the way that I roll.
I also use Ebay as a source for the, As for my purchases I don't buy anything made in Chine so the older rings are where I focus my energy.
Ring sets from the manufacturers that I mentioned come in a variety of heights varying from low to extra high and as such they accommodate a very large variety of objective lens diameters up to 50mm (sorry but I'm not aware of any sizes larger nor would I use anything bigger).
Rings are made except for traditional Sako rings that can accommodate tube sizes up to 30MM. So as you can see you don't have to go very far to find a mount and ring set to accommodate a very large variety of fixed and variable power scopes and objective lens diameters.
As for scopes I have an affinity for the older more traditional Leupold scopes. I just wish that my pocketbook could keep up with my passion for them. I'll speak to fixed power and variable power scopes as well as the power range (3x9 etc.) in another installment.
Now I'm going to hunker down and brace for the barrage of comments that are bound to come as a result of my recommendations especially the negative comments that I made in this installment.
Keep it on the high road.
I don't believe that anyone will disagree with your choices because as stated on this site many times, there are an infinite number of requirements for different types of shooting. The only thing that I would like to add is that all scope mounting should address ring reaming or lapping as needed for tube alignment to get the best possible performance. The exception would be Optilock type ring mounts. Sakojim.
In all my years I have never lapped a ringset. Perhaps you could improve the thread by writing something up and including some pics on the reaming operation. If you do, kindly include it in this thread perhaps under the title Lapping Ringsets to Improve Scope Fit and Accuracy or something along that line.
For those who are interested in long range accuracy, I would respectfully encourage them to search the internet for the following and I will leave this subject up to the experts. Please search : "Reaming-lapping scope rings for accuracy."
There are many more detailed accounts of this subject than I can provide on this site and most short range shooters would not really have an interest. On the other hand those interested in learning the true capabilities of their rifle will find the subject very interesting. One comment I have is that there are many quirks available to improve accuracy but the bottom line is quality control means better performance. Sakojim.
Not sure I would recommend Larry Willis' solution. Have done a lot of machine work the reamer he uses is a real cludge given how it is mounted and the fact that you have to use a wrench to turn the thing.
Check out his post.
Here is another post on the firing Line. I think the recommendations there are excellent but you be the judge.
Here is another article on Predator masters Site. That praises the use of the reamer.
After looking the recommendations mad at the three sites I have to conclude this. If these folks swear by the reamer or lapping technique who am I disagree with their recommendations.
This said I can only refer our forum readers back to my posting on properly mounting a scope. I presented my methodology in this thread including the pictures of the tooling that I use to do the deed. One thing you could do is to sprinkle a little lapping compound on the 1" ss bar that I use for alignment and spin it by hand to do a little lapping on the rings if something like that is absolutely necessary.
One final note is that using my 1" ss bar approach I have achieved perfect alignment of the rings. I say this because you can feel any binding in the bar if the rings are misaligned. Similarly, you can feel any binding in the scope when it is mounted in the rings. As you gently tighten the rings any resistance becomes immediately apparent. Using my recommended method has rarely resulted in scope tube scoring.
Good references Rick.
If I may I would like to refer to a subject lightly mentioned in some of these references but which I feel are really very important. That is scope tube stress. The most important part of the basic scope is the tube itself, because of the alignment factor of all of the internal parts. Cheaper scopes may have aluminum tubes to save weight or thinner walled steel tubes for the same reason or cost savings and are some what more flexible. If a tube is under stress from misaligned mounts there is the possibility of zeroing problems due to misalignment of the internal adjustments. Remember that the internal parts operate under micro measurement adjustments and tube stress interferes with those adjustments and optic alignments. Another drawback to tube stress is change of alignment of internal parts by external heat or temperature changes. A cold black scope fresh out of the shade subjected to hot sun rays will heat quicker on one side that the other and the zero will be some what different until evenly heated. For best results from long range shots keep the scope shaded in hot sunny weather. Just my thoughts and subject to argument. Sakojim.
Ring lapping is a very old subject.
The guys over on the benchrest board have forgotten more.....on the subject.....than we'll ever know. edit: They also even "epoxy bed" the scope to the rings.
Sinclair has been selling ring lapping kits.......for many decades. I've replaced my "bars" a few times over the years.
The straighter & better the scope tube fits in your rings the better the odds of getting what you expect from the scope. I have always aligned & lapped the rings to prevent tube distortion & eliminate denting & scratching the tube. All rings come with sharp edges & tools marks that should be removed at a minimum & many times the ring halves don't come together flush. The last few years I have used Acra-Glass Gel (dyed black) bedding compound in the rings & believe it totally eliminates tube stress. It is tedious & messy, but the end result is very much worth it. How many times have you moved a turret 2" & the POI moved 4" or moved it 4" & it moved 1"or had your rifle zeroed & after a few rounds the POI moved? That's scope tube stress rearing it's ugly head. Nearly all the scopes I change out for customers (self mounted) have ring dents & scratches. They say they "need" a new scope because this one doesn't "adjust right". Go figure!
I apologize if some of my discussion is redundant. That said, I really wanted to document a concise handloading treatise for our novice handloaders. So, here goes...….
My Reloading Equipment:
Here is some of the reloading equipment that I still use today. And, yes I am an RCBS guy.
Lyman M5 Scale. Mine is over 40 years old and still works like a champ.
RCBS Powder Trickler also over 40 years old and functioning fine.
Various sized loading blocks
RCBS Round Primer Tray (automatically flips primers upright when you shake it)
RCBS Case Mouth Chamfering Tool
RCBS Die Set appropriate for the caliber being loaded
RCBS A2 Reloading Press (I have three of these mounted in tandem on my loading bench. That said you only need one press. I recommend the RCBS Rock Chucker)
I don't ordinarily use a powder measure. I like very precise powder charges and for the 17 caliber stuff I load that is mandatory. You can also go really over the deep end by weighting and sorting the bullets that you use. Sorting the same bullets by weight will give you more consistent accuracy.
For primer seating I have all of the gizmoes and gagits. My favorite is the RCBS Ram Priming Unit. This little gem mounts on the top of the press (screws in like a reloading die) and a shell holder slides into the top of the ram. You install a little gaget on the ram that has a spring loaded seating rod on the thing. When you bring the ram up just slip a primer into the hole in the center of the shell holder and insert an unprimed case into the shell holder. When the handle is pulled down, the ram is raised and the primer is seated. I use this little gizmoe on my strongest RCBS A2 presses and regardless of the case being primed the feel is so sensitive that I have never crushed a primer during the seating operation.
Getting Started By Making a Dummy Round
I've been hand loading for over 50 years and I am a firm believer in reducing the distance that a bullet travels before it contacts the lands. For every different type of bullet I handload for a specific rifle I always make up a dummy round that I can use to set the proper seating depth for that specific bullet type and manufacturer. Here is how I do it..
1st, the seating die has to be positioned in your press so that it is either going to seat the bullet without crimping (that means backed off of the fully extended ram and shell holder far enough so that the crimping ring inside of the die will not be engaged when the bullet is seated). Setting this up takes a little practice but generally about 1/16 inch clearance between the bottom of the die and the top of the shell holder is enough to do the trick. Once you get the desired setup for the die, lock it in place by tightening the lockring on the die body. Be sure not to over tighten it. I generally tighten the thing and gently remove the die from the press with pair of channel locks. Once removed from the press I generally tighten the lockring a bit more to make sure that it doesn't move when I reinsert or remove the die from the press during future seating operations. I retighten the die in the press by grabbing a hold of the die lockring and snugging it down just enough that the die will not come lose during the seating operation. I generally do not crimp unless I am loading for a tube feed rifle so I'll save that setup operations for another post.
Once you have the seating die snugged down loosen the locknut that secures the bullet seating rod and unscrew the rod until you are sure that it is backed out of the die far enough that it won't start to seat the bullet. Take a resized unprimed chamfered case, position the bullet on top of the case mouth and gently start to run it into the seating die. Go all the way into the die and make sure the ram is fully extended. If you begin to feel any resistance while doing this operation the bullet seating rod isn't out far enough so unscrew it some more until the ram is fully extended and the case/bullet combination are fully in the die.
Now, begin to slowly screw the bullet seating rod down into the die until you make contact with the bullet. Back off the ram until the enough so you can get two full right hand turns on the bullet seating rod and gently tighten the seating rod lock nut. Slowly bring the case back in contact with the seating rod and begin the seating operation until the ram is fully extended. Remove the case from the die and inspect the bullet to make sure it is going into the case properly and that it has not deformed in any way.
Put the round into the rifle and gently try to close the bolt. Don't force anything during these go/no go operations. The bolt will probably not close because the bullet has not been seated far enough into the case. Remove the case from the rifle and put it back into the shell holder for another seating operation. Loosen the seating rod lock nut and screw the rod down into the seating die another full right hand turn. Retighten the locknut. Repeat the gentle bullet seating operation by slowly running the case up into the die until you feel resistance and continue until the ram is fully extended. Remove the case from the die and re-inspect the bullet for any problems. Repeat the go/no go test by putting the case back into the rifle and gently try to close the bolt.
At this point the bullet should be seated in the case three full turns of the seating rod. You can take another bullet and put it up along side of the bullet in the case to get a feel for where the base is inside of the case. You can probably eye ball the thing and determine if you can seat the bullet another one or two full turns of the bullet seating rod. But don't get carried away here. Try another full turn of the bullet seating rod, seat the bullet and perform the go/no go test by inserting the case in the rifle and gently trying to close the bolt.
Now this is very important, at some point you will need to slack off on adjusting the depth of the bullet seating rod by reducing to 1/2 turns. Don't forget to snug up the seating rod lock nut in between adjustments. Eventually, the bolt is going to begin to close. Don't try to force it closed. You will only screw up the bullet or get it stuck in the rifling and everything will be wasted. Instead, remove the case from the rifle and adjust the bullet seating rod no more than 1/8 turn into the die. Repeat the go/no go test. The bolt should be darn near closed and if it is the seating operation is almost there. Gently and I mean gently see if it will close. Don't force it. Usually the bolt will close and complete the final seating operation inside of the chamber without deforming the bullet or getting it stuck in the lands. If the bolt won't close remove the case and reseat the bullet another 1/16 turn of the seating rod. Repeat until the bolt finally closes. Make sure to snug the seating rod lock nut before each seating attempt or you will get a false reading on the actual seating depth of the bullet in the case.
Once the bolt closes, remove the case from the rifle. Carefully loosen the bullet seating rod locknut without turning the rod. Use a screwdriver to hold the rod in place so it doesn't move in or out of the die. Now, screw the seating rod into the die about another 1/32 turn. Gently lock the seating rod locknut without disturbing the position of the seating rod. Seat the bullet and put the case back into the rifle and gently close the bolt. If you have done everything right when the bolt closes the bullet should be about .005 from the lands. This ensures that the gap between the bullet and the lands is at a maximum minimal distance. Accuracy should improve greatly because the deformation of the bullet has been eliminated when it makes the jump from the case to the lands during firing.
Now remove the dummy case from the rifle and carefully label it. In future you can use it to quickly reset the seating depth for that specific bullet by unscrewing the bullet seating rod, running the dummy case back into the bullet seating die and gently screwing the seating rod into the die until it just contacts the dummy bullet. Remember you can't change the position of the lock ring on the bullet seating die and you need to make sure that you use the same shell holder when seating bullets for this particular firearm. When different bullets are being seated the only thing that moves is the bullet seating rod and nothing else.
I just wanted to add one additional note. Take a fine point permanent black marking pen and put a reference mark on the top of the seating die. Make a mark at 12, 3, 6, and 9 O'clock on the top of the die. These marks will help you to screw in the bullet seating rod as you perform the various procedures needed to get to the optimum seating depth of the various bullets you plan to shoot.
Next. the actual handloading operation.
Just an addendum to note Barnes suggests aiming for more of a "jump" from case to the rifling for better accuracy when handloading for their TSX/TTSX bullets.
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